• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio
Episode 10

by Christopher Farris,

How would you rate episode 10 of
The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio ?
Community score: 4.0

For any audience members who had been tiring of Voice Actor Radio's…let's say fraught attempts at melodrama, this tenth episode will likely be a welcome reprieve. This week's entry simply serves up Yasumi and Yuhi doing a crossover episode with some of the other voice actors (and representative radio shows) glimpsed in the series. What follows is the low-stakes seiyuu sitcom I'm sure plenty of people would have been happy with. It's the character-focused rapport that works just as well as a sketch show as an entry in an ongoing story, and while it's low-key enough that I can't critically rate it too high, it certainly serves its purpose of being a mildly amusing half-hour of television to kick back with.

Half of this episode is simply an in-universe game show where the leads, plus the returning Otome and Mekuru, compete on-stage in one of those talent contests/variety shows so prominent in this industry. At first pass, it might be easy to think that Yasumi and Yuhi, being a duo competing against solo performers, would have something of an advantage. But then you must remember that they are terrible at things. That's why I love them, though. Besides, as with all presentations like these, the real objective is not to see who wins, but to enjoy what kinds of entertainment will come out of it.

Voice Actor Radio's multiple layers of character schtick means that, despite its difficulties, it's been designed to get the most out of fictionalizing this sort of setup. Mekuru's whole fangirl-turned-tsundere-coworker routine, for instance, means the playing off of personalities starts before she even gets on stage with everyone. It's funny to watch Yasumi razz her through a sincere response to what she knows to be Mekuru's true personality combined with a veneer of still not quite getting her compartmentalized professionalism. And of course, it's delightful to see Yasumi and Yuhi vocally put aside their differences for the chance to win a meal at a fancy barbecue restaurant.

It's all very entertainingly sincere in a way that doesn't feel like it's entirely worshiping at the feet of the most shameless indulgences of this industrial complex. When Otome puts on the most cloying impression of a schoolgirl love confession, it's funny specifically because she's like 30. Sure, it turns out that Yasumi and Yuhi's drive to win that meaty meal was part of a sweet scheme to invite Mekuru out with Otome for a thank you. But they lose to Otome anyway, and the resultant meal winds up being an exercise in Mekuru's drinking intersecting with her ignoble crush on Otome as she struggles to separate her personas. It's a goofy, genuinely entertaining time.

It helps that the simple sitcom setup doesn't strain Voice Actor Radio's typically flagging production values. Any major movement in the talent show is montaged over, and there's not much to demand from the second-half scene of the girls sitting around a table getting their grill on. Instead, the facial expressions sell the funny layers of cringe-worthy efforts and emotions the characters are working through in all this silliness. If you just want a chill time of watching idol voice actresses fail at Whose Line Is It Anyway? sketches followed by seeing them knock back big mugs of beer while they vent about their thinly veiled crushes on each other, welcome to the show.

That last bit provides enough compelling content for this entry that it works as a step in the current story as opposed to a season-ending bonus episode. Yasumi is still struggling with her current anime role and naturally takes the opportunity out with Otome and Mekuru to ask them for some advice. The real root of the issue naturally turns out to be Yasumi roadblocked by her rivalry with Yuhi. Otome articulates this interesting professional paradox: how wanting to surpass a talented peer can inspire you to drive for stronger performances but said peer might be the best source of advice for that effort. The pride that motivates someone like Yasumi means she might be avoiding her chances at improving her craft and growing closer to Yuhi, and as Otome points out, that's a situation that Yasumi might live to regret. With a critical point in her performance coming up, that's the crossroads that Yasumi finds herself at by the end of this episode, meaning this silly little sidetrack turns out to also work pretty well at laying out Voice Actor Radio's road to the end of its season.


The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

The many sides of Chris include reviewing anime, playing rhythm games, and treating himself to too many Transformers toys. You can find him posting about all of these and more over on his Twitter, or occasionally going more in-depth on his blog.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

discuss this in the forum (21 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

back to The Many Sides of Voice Actor Radio
Episode Review homepage / archives